Emotional Agility and Mindfulness for Lawyer Leaders

Increasingly, the key to successfully navigating the complexity of modern corporate life is the ability to manage emotions and work with the emotions of others. Never has this been more important than in the added complexity we now find ourselves in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thankfully, emotional intelligence and agility are highly developable and we are committed to helping our people and our clients develop these important capabilities.

This collection of resources accompanies our Emotional Agility and Mindfulness for Lawyer Leaders program and is designed to help lawyer leaders develop important techniques for recognising, managing, understanding and using emotions within yourself and in your relationships with others.

If you are interested in attending a future program, please email us and we will add you to the next available program. If you would like to talk to us about individual coaching or just to talk about your own experience of emotions, please contact our Practice Group Leader – Consulting, Anthony Kearns.

Week 1 podcast: Mindfulness for lawyer leaders

The first in a series of short mindfulness practices led by Anthony Kearns. This practice focuses on mindfulness of the breath and lasts for 10 minutes.

Week 1 resources

Week 2 podcast: Mindfulness for lawyer leaders

This second short mindfulness practice focuses on mindfulness of the body and lasts for 15 minutes.

Week 2 resources

Week 3 podcast: Mindfulness for lawyer leaders

Now that you have been practising for a couple of weeks, it's time to try a longer practice. This one is 20 minutes and focuses on the body and the breath.

Week 4 podcast: Mindfulness for lawyer leaders

In this week's practice we will focus on the emotional centres of the body (belly, chest, shoulders, neck, throat, temples and forehead). These are the physical locations in which we commonly "carry" emotions and they can appear as sensations such as pain, tension, heat or numbness. We practice attending to these physical manifestations of emotions so we can get better at noticing them throughout the day.

Week 5 podcast: Mindfulness for lawyer leaders

Short mindfulness practices

This week we introduce you to a series of short practices you can employ to bring mindful moments to your day. You might use these practices to create a mindful cadence between tasks or domains of your life, prepare for a situation in which emotions might be in play for you or notice your emotions in response to a situation. The practices are between one and five minutes long and are collected in one recording so you can try them a few times and then employ them when you choose to throughout the day. These are not designed to replace your longer morning practice but rather to bring some structure to your mindful moments throughout the day.

Kristin Neff loving-kindness meditations

Throughout the course I have been focused on the importance of self-compassion. The leading researcher on self-compassion is Dr Kristin Neff and I have included a number of her books on the reading list for this program. One of the ways to foster self-compassion is through a particular form of meditation known as loving-kindness Meditation. You will find a number of free practices led by Kristin Neff here and I recommend you experiment with them and incorporate them into your daily practices if you find them helpful.

Gillian Coutts resources and contact details

This week we have also had the privilege of working with Gillian Coutts from Potential Project. She has provided a number of additional resources that she thought may be helpful:

  1. A link to the HBR article How to Practice Mindfulness During Your Work Day – great simple strategies to help keep you more resilient, focused and well in these current times
  2. Are you addicted to doing? A great read with simple strategies to help you slow down to speed up
  3. A TED video advocating for presence in resilience – it focuses on the wandering mind research (saying our minds wander 46.9% of the time – mostly to the (velcro-inspired) negative) that is an easy watch
  4. How having your smartphone nearby takes a toll on your thinking (even when it’s silent and face-down)
  5. Sleep is Your Superpower (a great 20min TED talk worth watching).

You can read more about improving your mental effectiveness at work in our book One Second Ahead, and mindful leadership in our book The Mind of the Leader published by Harvard Business Review.

Gillian Coutts
Country Director & Partner, Potential Project Australia
M: +61 411 404 707
Skype: gillian.coutts1

Week 6 podcast: Mindfulness for lawyer leaders

Creating space to observe

This week's practice is brought to you by Gillian Coutts from Potential Project.

Listen to the practice here.


Practice Group Leader - Consulting
D +61 2 8020 7880
M +61 417 420 524
E [email protected]

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